eLink News

This Week:

December 24-January 4 OFFICE CLOSED 
(Once again, office staff will be using the remainder of their vacation time during the Christmas/New Year holiday.  The office will re-open on Monday, January 5th.  Have a blessed Christmas!)

Email Disruption

From December 24-31 (possibly longer) Presbytery staff emails and the website will be offline while we change service providers.  In case of emergency during this period, EP Ralph Hawkins can be reached at ralph_hawkins@me.com and 724-456-2569.  We will send out a new eLink when our shenango.org email is back up and running.  You can still register for LeaderFest using the link in the paragraph below during the email/website disruption.

Register for LeaderFest!

It’s time yet again to register for LeaderFest! LeaderFest is Shenango Presbytery’s annual leadership training event for officers, leaders, and all people who desire to be equipped to do God’s work in the world. This year, it will be held on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Westminster College and New Wilmington Presbyterian Church from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Dr. Roger Owens from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will lead the keynote discussion on, “Innovating Life with God: Keys to Missional Leadership in the Congregation.”  Registration for LeaderFest is $20/person, which includes materials and lunch. Early birds pay only $15 if registered by January 6!  Register Online

Mildred Lutgens

Our presbytery mourns the death of Ruling Elder Mildred “Milly” Lutgens, who died last Friday following an extended illness.  A member of Faith church in Hermitage, Milly was also a Commissioned Ruling Elder (formerly Commissioned Lay Pastor) at the Scotch Hill church outside Grove City.  Read her obituary here.

Baptism Sermon

The text of Rev. Hawkins’ presbytery sermon from December 2 and the baptism of Samuel Creekpaum can be found here.
2015 Mileage Rate

The IRS Mileage Reimbursement figure for 2015 will be 57.5 cents per mile.

Mission Giving Deadline

The deadline for the Presbytery Office to receive mission moneys for the 2014 calendar year is coming soon.  Monies must be postmarked by Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

Appeals Court Ruling Preserves Clergy Housing Exemption

A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has preserved the federal income tax exemption for clergy housing allowances, a significant benefit for ministers who rent or own a home.  The decision threw out a lower court decision that found the exemption unconstitutional.  Visit our Board of Pensions web site for more information.

Medical Dues Assistance

If your congregation’s 2015 budget is adversely affected by the forthcoming 1.5% increase in the Board of Pensions medical dues for plan members with a spouse and/or dependents, please contact EP Ralph Hawkins or COM moderator Bill Crooks.  There is assistance available through the Committee on Ministry to help offset some of that burden.  To read more about the plan changes, see this page on the Board of Pensions website.

Ruling Elder Nominations

The Nominations committee of Shenango Presbytery is about to commence its work of filling positions for the coming leadership cycle, 2015-16.  Our goal is to expand representation of our 50 churches as widely as possible.  To that end, we are requesting your assistance: If you have Ruling Elders that you feel could be of service to the presbytery, please forward their names and contact information to Mark Arnold(Moderator of the Nominations committee), EP Ralph Hawkins or office staffAutumn Covert at the presbytery office.  We feel that each church should have at least one representative serving at the presbytery level and the ultimate goal is to get to a point where our Council is comprised of a membership of rotating representatives of all the churches.  Ruling elders need not be currently serving on Session in your local church.  Our next meeting is January 6, 2015.  If you have names, contact information, and recommended area of interest or expertise, it would be greatly appreciated.  – The Nominations Committee

News from the Churches

Music Director Wanted

Coolspring Presbyterian Church is looking for a Music Director responsible for 1 Sunday service and Choir.  Piano and/or organ experience.  This is a paid position.  Please call 724-475-3712 and leave a message with your contact information if interested.

Educational Videotapes

Calvin Presbyterian Church is cleaning out its library and they have many Christian Children’s and Educational videotapes (VCR required!) that they are no longer in need of.  If anybody can use them, they are more than welcome to come get them.  Contact the church office at 724-758-4258 by the end of December.

Organist/Choir Director

Shenango Presbyterian Church is looking for an organist/choir director.  This is a paid position.  Please contact Amy Na at the church office at 724-654-2322.  Come and worship with us!

Church Secretary Needed

Part-time Church Secretary needed at North Sewickley Presbyterian Church, Ellwood City.  15 hours per week.  Knowledge of Word, Excel, & Publisher.  Knowledge of MS Access or experience with databases, is a plus.  Please send a cover letter and resume tonspc@zoominternet.net.

Chimes Wanted

Cindy, a music therapist at Shenango Presbyterian SeniorCare is looking for a set of Choir Chimes (not English handbells) to use during therapy sessions with the residents.  The chimes will help with fine motor skills and various other forms of therapy for many of the residents, including those with dementia.  If your church could donate a set of chimes that you are no longer using, please contact Cindy at 724-667-8809 (home) or 724-657-4019 (cell).

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